Reposted from the Center for Teaching Quality:
I had a difficult time establishing trust with Amber. She was defiant at times, and she seemed to resent the fact that I cared about my students as people. For instance, I often call students at home when they are absent to make sure everything’s ok. Most of my students love this, but Amber once remarked that “teachers shouldn’t waste time on that sort of thing when they should be teaching.”
Teachers often forget how easily our words and actions can affect children. It’s scary how powerful that is. Turning a kid’s life around in a positive way…..or negative. Teaching involves so much more than simply teaching subjects. We teach students, and we become their coaches, mentors, and cheerleaders. When we show students we care about them, not just as students, but as humans, it builds trust. When that happens, the students seem to work harder because they believe in themselves. Why? Because someone else does.
Amber was never absent—and I soon found out why. The school counselor told me that Amber lived with an alcoholic father. No mom around. No wonder she came to school everyday. It was her haven. And not trusting adults in her life? It totally made sense now…